Atlantic City Assault Defense Lawyer
Being charged with assault in New Jersey is a very serious matter. Depending on the details of an allegation, the penalties for these offenses can include years of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines, mandatory community service, probation, and court-ordered anger management courses. In addition to these formal penalties, having a criminal record with a history of violent crime can create serious obstacles in terms of employment and professional certification, even when a conviction took place many years ago.
If you were charged with or arrested for assault, it is critically important that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you possibly can. You should think about contacting an Atlantic City criminal defense lawyer right away. The prosecution won’t delay in building a case against you, so don’t wait until it’s already too late to take action: call Lombardo Law today to learn more about how we can assist you.
Joseph Lombardo: Atlantic City Assault Defense Attorney
Being accused of a violent crime can be an extremely stressful and overwhelming experience. You may be feeling hopeless, isolated, and confused, with many questions about what to expect and how best to prepare. However, you don’t have to face this challenge on your own: Lombardo Law can help fight your charges, defend your legal rights, and guide you through the complexities of the criminal justice system.
Assault lawyer Joseph Lombardo has more than 20 years of dedicated experience working on thousands of criminal cases in Atlantic City and across southern New Jersey. He handles a broad spectrum of disorderly persons (misdemeanor) and indictable (felony) assault charges, including:
- Simple Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Vehicular Assault (Assault by Auto or Vessel)
When you need the support of an aggressive attorney with decades of experience, you can call on Lombardo Law for help.
In plain terms, simple assault is the non-aggravated version of assault. Under 2C:12-1, a person can be charged with this offense if he or she:
- “Purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes [or attempts to cause] bodily injury.”
- “Negligently causes bodily injury… with a deadly weapon.”
- “Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.”
It’s important to point out that under New Jersey law, “deadly weapon” does not always have to mean a firearm. Any “device, instrument, material or substance” which is “capable of producing death or serious bodily injury” can be a deadly weapon.
Pursuant to 2C:12-1, “Simple assault is a disorderly persons [DP] offense unless committed in a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a petty disorderly persons offense.”
- DP Offense Penalties: Up to 6 months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines.
- Petty DP Offense Penalties: Up to 30 days in jail, up to $500 in fines.
However, there are several circumstances in which simple assault can be graded as a fourth degree crime:
- When it is committed “in the presence of a child under 16 years of age at a school or community sponsored youth sports event.” (The statute adds, “It shall not be a defense that the defendant did not know that the child was present or reasonably believed that the child was 16 years of age or older.”)
- When it is committed against an “institutionalized elderly person.”
The penalties for a crime of the fourth degree include up to 18 months in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
Aggravated assault is a more serious offense, with possible classifications ranging from crime of the fourth degree to crime of the second degree.
- 3rd Degree Penalties: Up to 5 years, up to $15,000.
- 2nd Degree Penalties: Up to 10 years, up to $150,000.
There are numerous circumstances which can lead to these charges. To give just a few examples:
- Knowingly or recklessly (not negligently) causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon.
- Assaulting a police officer, firefighter, court official, corrections officer, or health care worker.
- Causing serious bodily injury.
The extent of the victim’s injuries play a crucial role in separating these two levels of charges. “Bodily injury” simply means illness, pain, or short-term impairment, whereas “serious bodily injury” means a “substantial risk of death,” “serious, permanent disfigurement,” or long-term impairment.
As the name suggests, these charges refer to assault involving a vehicle, whether that be an automobile or a boat. Depending on the severity of the injuries to the victim, this crime can be classed and penalized as a fourth, third, or second degree crime. If the alleged crime takes place in a school zone, the penalties can increase; however it is not a valid defense to be “unaware that the prohibited conduct took place while on or within 1,000 feet of… school property or while driving through a school crossing.”
If you or someone you love has been arrested for any of these crimes, call Joseph Lombardo immediately at (609) 445-4300 to schedule a free and private case evaluation, or contact our law offices online.